Is the two button control method of games such as Robot Unicorn attack bringing you down? Because Whale Trail is now on Android, with half the buttons and twice the delight.
Is a platform game still a platform game when you get rid of the platforms? Perhaps not, but what if you’re scrolling from left to right, collecting objects and avoiding enemies by pressing a single button to go upwards? Trying to put today’s games into genres could drive a man mad! Whale Trail might not be the first game to bring a single button control method to Android, in fact I believe we took a look a look at The Impossible Game a couple of years ago, which showed us just how tough a game with a singe input could be. Difficulty isn’t the selling point of Whale Trail, although it can become quite challenging, the biggest treat that it has to offer is its experience.
Saying the experience of a game is its biggest feature is rather vague, but Whale Trail is the type of game that is more than just the sum of its parts and if you break it down too far it stops making sense. Although in actuality, there’s already very little sense in Whale Trail. You are in control of Willow the whale who’s flying through Rainbow Land to escape Barron Von Barry. So the story is total nonsense, not that you’ll find any story once the game begins anyhow. You can’t have such a bizarre story without the visuals to back it up and sure enough there’s evil clouds with faces on; happy clouds with faces on; a colorful mountain range in the background, also with faces on and so many colors, as if someone cranked the psychedelic dial up to 11. The graphics are just as much nonsense as the story, so is the music just as nonsensical? Well, here’s a sample of the lyrics: “Ain’t no riots in the sky – Just a riot of color – That lasts forever”, so, check!
Guiding Willow through the riot of color in the sky is simple: Press on the screen to tilt him up, keep holding on the screen and he’ll do a loop-the-loop. You won’t be flying aimlessly through the sky as you’ll need to collect sky bubbles for whale fuel (Did I mention the story was bizarre?). Running out of fuel will cause Willow to fall out of the sky and I can’t imagine what multicolored horrors that would cause on the land below. There are also storm clouds in the sky that will reduce your fuel if you collide with them unless you’ve collected enough stars to gain temporary invincibility, then you can smash through them for extra points. The endless mode eases you in on each play-though with few clouds and plenty of fuel, but eventually you’ll be scrambling for enough fuel to continue and carefully steering Williow through tight passages between walls of clouds.
If you’re looking for a more structured experience there’s 32 challenge missions that are unlocked after earning a small score in the classic mode. These challenges require you to reach a score milestone by the end of an area in order to win up to three stars. These stars are then used to unlock more challenge levels, which begins to get quite difficult around the high teens when you start to require a higher than two star average to unlock further levels. To reach three stars on many levels requires nothing short of perfection, which feels against the ‘spirit’ of the rest of the game’s feel good charm. There’s nothing wrong with a challenge, but when you can pay a couple of dollars through an in-app purchase to unlock the rest then the difficulty feels a little more insidious.
There’s a few technical hiccups that are worth mentioning. Firstly the frame rate isn’t as stable as it should be for a game so simple and secondly when there is a lot going on then the game simply freezes for a a second or two. Hopefully these issues can be patched out, but for now they can make some difficult situations even more challenging. Performance issues aside. Whale Trail is a nonsense game that’s a lot of fun to play. Beautiful, beautiful nonsense.
When you’re ready, head over to the Android Market and download this game by clicking or scanning the QR Code below.
Summary and Downloads:
Game: Whale Trail
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